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How Long’s Pic Pac Adapted, Thrived In Pandemic With AppCard

Long's Pic Pac

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The pandemic introduced challenges for many small businesses, but Long’s Pic Pac in Pineville, Kentucky, has managed to thrive despite difficult circumstances. The store, which has been in the Long family for two (soon to be three) generations, has always been community-minded and adaptable. However, the pandemic presented new challenges that required new solutions.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Long’s Pic Pac implemented curbside pickup to keep customers safe. They also adapted its pricing strategy to deal with inflation and price increases and keep shoppers happy. With the help of AppCard, the leading personalized marketing and shopper analytics platform for independent grocers, the store was able to make these changes and give back to the community at the same time.

Mike Long, the owner of Long’s Pic Pac, said that AppCard allowed them to give a lot of money back to the community. The program also helped it ease the pain of price increases by giving extra bonus points to customers. For example, when the store increased the price of a popular sandwich called the Big Kahuna by 50 or 60 cents, it gave extra points to customers who purchased the sandwich. When they had to increase the price of cakes by a couple of dollars, they also gave five extra points for every dollar spent.

Long noted that this strategy worked quite well, as about 38-40 percent of the customer base used their number to earn extra points. By using the loyalty program to give back to customers and make price increases more manageable, Long’s Pic Pac was able to maintain customer loyalty and generate more revenue from those who were actively using the program.

Long’s Pic Pac has implemented a number of successful strategies and campaigns at its store. Price perception is so important in this inflationary environment, and MDI, Long’s Pic Pac’s wholesaler, works hard to source low-priced items each week. Long’s Pic Pac uses digital coupons that integrate with digital ads to make these items pop more on digital ads than on print ads. The store also promotes some of these features in emails and social media to make sure its shoppers are aware of the great deals and opportunities to save. Another strategy that it uses to promote private label items is the basket builder approach. It offers additional points to shoppers who spend a certain amount on private label items, which has been very successful.

One successful campaign Long’s Pic Pac has implemented is the “Battle High Prices” campaign, where they offered a special price for items like ground beef, eggs and soft drinks to help shoppers deal with the rising prices. They used AppCard to offer a discount for shoppers who used it and limited the number of times shoppers could use the discount to control their markdown.

In addition, Mike and his team have used social media to promote their store and AppCard. They participated in the AppCard social media challenge and won the contest by promoting its Halloween program and Moonlight Madness sale on its Facebook page. They made these promotions fun and engaging to shoppers, which has helped to build a strong relationship with them. Mike and his team are dedicated to finding innovative ways to communicate with their shoppers and provide them with the best deals possible.

The AppCard NTR also contributes to the success of Long’s Pic Pac. The NTR makes it easier for customers to access and use digital coupons, which can increase engagement and encourage customers to become members of the loyalty program. Mike says the size of the NTR allows customers to easily see and interact with the device without taking up too much room at the check-out.

Additionally, the integration of the ShoptoCook kiosk and the use of store personnel to onboard customers have contributed to the success of the loyalty program at Long’s Pic Pac, with a significant percentage of shoppers signing up within only six to eight weeks of launching the program. The NTR and ShoptoCook kiosk have undoubtedly played a role in raising Long’s Pic Pac’s coupon clip to redeem ratio to 25 percent, which is double the industry average.

Mike contributes a great deal of their success with AppCard to the integrations offered. He recommends that other grocers prioritize the integration of their loyalty program with its other digital platforms, such as e-commerce and digital ads, to create a seamless and universal experience for shoppers. At Long’s Pic Pac, they see the importance of having someone in charge of the program who believes in the AppCard program and can see it through and ensuring that all department heads and employees understand how everything works.

AppCard’s usability and accessibility to data also plays a crucial role in Long’s Pic Pac’s success. This data allows retailers to understand the buying habits of their top shoppers and send personalized promotions and offers directly to them. This, combined with the power of text message and email marketing targeted to specific groups of shoppers, leads to more effective spending. 

The combination of various marketing strategies, integrations, and the ease of use on the NTR has led to a great impact on Long’s Pic Pac’s bottom line. AppCard members at Long’s Pic Pac purchase nearly double the items of non-AppCard members. In addition, the average transaction for AppCard members is nearly 54 percent higher than the basket size of non-AppCard members. Long’s Pic Pac shoppers who participate in the AppCard program save money in their budgets and help the store’s bottom line.

AppCard and MDI offer a significant amount of support to retailers who use the AppCard platform. Building a team to support retailers in creating promotions and utilizing marketing techniques is a key part of making the program successful. AppCard and MDI have developed best practices for promotions that any retailer can use and are happy to share these with any retailer. They also provide ongoing support for cashier training, including a quick checklist for cashiers to use in-lane, and regular emails with data tracking progress.

Having strong front-end employees who can set an example for others and encourage the use of the AppCard platform is crucial to program success. AppCard and MDI are committed to supporting retailers who use their platform and have developed resources and training to make it as easy and effective as possible.

Long’s Pic Pac was able to adapt and thrive during the pandemic by using AppCard technology to give back to customers, track behavior and make changes necessary to keep customers happy and engaged. By keeping customer loyalty at the forefront, they were able to maintain a strong community presence and keep the business going for future generations. 

For more information, visit longspicpac.com or appcard.com.

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